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Interview: Sauti Sol reveal their 2018 plans, secret to their success, best Ugandan songs and much more

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Sauti Sol

By Our Reporter

Kenyan music group Sauti Sol was recently in Uganda and the BigEyeUG team managed to catch up with them for an interview. During the interview, the singers revealed their music plans for 2018 among other things. Here are excerpts:

1. How did you settle on the name Sauti Sol? And why?

We used to be called “Sauti” back in our singing days in high school. But there were many “Sautis” in the industry and when were recording our first album, our manager advised us to find a unique name and that is when we added “Sol” to our name to become “Sauti Sol”.

2. How did you guys meet? What is that history behind the formation of Sauti Sol?

The three of us (Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano and Savara Mudigi) were in the same high school and there was a group called “Voices in the light”. It was a generation of a capella bands and the best were chosen to be in that group. We used to perform in this group in high school. And after high school I (Polycarp Otieno) joined them to form the group, Sauti.

3. How have you managed to stay together for so long? Groups tend to be tricky you know?

Friendship has been the foundation of our group all the way from high school. And the friendship became even tighter after high school. We are the best of friends until now and this has greatly contributed to us sticking together for 14 years now.

4. What would each of you rank as your best Sauti Sol song?

The best Sauti Sol song is the song of the moment; the one that we have just released.  “Melanin”, which we just released, is our best song for now.

5. There was backlash from feminists when you released Nerea, how did it feel? How did you handle that moment?

We believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and so how different people take the message is not in our control. Although we appreciate and understand their concerns, that’s not where we were coming from. We made it very clear from the beginning that the song was mostly just about how as a man you should take responsibility for your actions. We even released a statement and we made it clear to where our position was. Our content cant always be taken the way we want it to be taken so we work with it as it comes.

6. You have fallen in love with Uganda. Who are your 3 best Ugandan musicians and why?

It is hard to tell the best Ugandan artiste because there is a lot of good musicians and we fall in love with Ugandan music everyday. Uganda has always had top musicians like Chameleone, Bebe cool who inspired us. There is also a lot of  fresh talent on the market who are killing it like Irene Ntale and Sheebah. There are also other talented musicians like Radio & Weasel,  Maurice Kirya (we have been friends for quite a long time), and then Navio.

7. What are your best 3 Ugandan Songs?

Stamina Daddy by Irene Ntale is making rounds in Kenya. Nkwatako by Sheebah is also good, and definitely Mbozi Za Malwa.

8. How did you and Bebe Cool come up with Mbozi Za Malwa?

We had been talking to Bebe Cool for a long time because we often meet at the award ceremonies outside our countries. So when he sent us the track, “Mboozi Za Malwa” and explained to us what it means adding that the song would go deep with in Uganda, which it surely did, we trusted him and jumped on to it. You know he is so experienced and we always look up to him.

9. What do you have in plan for 2018? What should your fans expect?

We have a project called “African Source” where we are working with different African artistes on the continent and in the next 12 months or so we are going to be releasing a new single every month. Actually we started with Uganda’s Bebe Cool, and then C4 Pedro from Angola and later Nigeria’s Patoranking whose songs are all already out. We are continuing to work with different African artists like Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Davido, Toofan, Mani Martin, Burna Boy, and Vanessa Mdee among others and the projects are all done and ready to be released.

10. Is there any artiste in Africa that you would wish to work with but you haven’t?

The artists we haven’t worked with, uh, some are dead. But if lucky Dube was alive, we would have loved to record a song with him. And maybe Brenda Fassie too. Nonetheless, there are many artistes in Africa that we would love to work with. And I think our next stop could be North Africa.

11. Which musicians have had the greatest influence on your style and genre?

It evolves with time and, even us as artistes we evolve and at each stage we have new influences. We started as an a capella acoustic band and then we had inspirations from some African artists like Salif Keita among others. And when we diversified into pop music we got new influences such as P-Square, South African music, and iconic music groups from the west as well.

12. How is the creative process for each new song you release? How do you decide which song to release?

We don’t decide on which song to release, it just happens. Our song ideas usually come from our different experiences. So we don’t really sit down and say we are writing a hit song. It all comes from all kinds of experiences.

We write together, and then practice the song with the band first. Most people first go to the studio and they are given a track and then write a song, but for us it is the other way round — write the music, then play it with the band, and if it sounds nice, we go ahead and record it.

Music is a business as well so we need a strategy and this also determines when we are releasing the particular songs.

13. What do you people do when you are not doing music? If you didn’t do music, where would each of you have probaly ended up?

We do not know where we would if not for singing. Anyway, when we are not doing music, we are just mostly resting. However, we all do have hobbies; we love things that all other normal people love, like playing soccer, play station, and hanging out with friends.

14. What would call your greatest achievement?

Sticking together for 14 years is our greatest achievement. Most groups don’t usually stick together this long.

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Celebrity Gossip

Meet Beckie Johnz, a talent to reckon with

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By Reporter

Talented, Beautiful, Modest, these three words describe singer/songwriter Beckie Johnz perfectly. Born in Ethiopia and mostly grew up in Kenya and came to Australia in 2005 when she was 15 years old. In her early teens, Beckie grew up in a Christian family, whereby she went to church and was involved in a choir. Beckie looked up to her choir masters and even though she was shy as a child, this gave her the confidence to want to use her God given talent to pursue a career in the music industry. Beckie started singing at a very young age even though her family members weren’t supportive of her.

Up until when she arrived to Australia, Beckie always kept in the back of her mind that if she were to be presented the opportunity to pursue her passion that she would always take that chance.Growing up, Beckie has always been inspired by music legends such as Nyankol Mathiang Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, usher Raymond, Alicia Keys and Toni Braxton, Keysha cole as well as the Destiny childs. She says that “at a young age i used to sing while playing with my friends but as soon as I reached home I would stop because my cousins would make fun of me saying “you’re a girl you shouldn’t sing”. At the age of 13 Beckie started taking singing more serious, although she was a very shy child. Over the years she started to come out of her shell more by letting the music guide her. Johnz speaks alot on her insecurities as she grew up.

She experienced bullying from distant family members who put her down, furthermore affecting her self esteem. This experience is what eventually inspired Johnz to turn to music. Music became my therapy” states Johnz. It lifted me up and guided me through my painful and dark days, so this was my way of expressing myself”. Beckie studied music in high school without the knowledge of her mother,and over the years Beckie strengthened her vocal skills and paid her way through vocal coaching. Through her performances Beckie met with an artist and producer Marvelous under the label BMC that would work with her to present an awesome demo and help take her career to the next level. Through those musical relationships,Beckie was connected with the duo Mavelous B producer and recorded a mix tapes of “that could be us” by Maino and” nothin on you” by B.O.B ft Bruno Mars.

Beckie Johnz took a long break (5 years) from music due to personal issues that she was embarking on, however Beckie remembered how music made her feel and why she should continue to use her God given talent. She moved with her family to Melbourne, Australia in 2016 where the music is very versatile and undeniablely wide. She knew best to continue to do what lifted her soul up from the beginning ” I want to pave way for my young south Sudanese female up coming artists, who are afraid to rise up,simply because of the lack of support. I knew best to be a role model in the male dominant industry within our community. Beckie Johnz has released her first ever EP (Just the Beginning) and first music video now available on all music platforms. She is working on her first album date to be announced soon. Stay Tune!

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Celebrity Gossip

Fatboy returns to the airwaves

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By BigEyeUg Team

Former employee of 88.2 Sanyu FM, James Onen aka Fatboy is set to return on radio after almost two months of unemployment.

Fatboy was fired in June this year after reportedly masterminding a sit-down strike at the Kampala based ‘urban music station’.

This sent the radio management despairing for Fatboy’s quick replacement in the Sanyu FM Breakfast Club show and it’s perfect choice landed on comedian Patrick Salvado Idringi and RadioCity’s Miss Deedan.

The good news for Fatboy’s fans is that he has now new commitments with Reckless Radio.

His services will be in ‘The Fat Boy’ show airing from Monday to Friday, 6AM-10AM.

“The Fatboy Show” is a top quality 4-hour daily entertainment radio show hosted by James ‘Fatboy’ Onen, veteran radio presenter who for over two decades has been a dominant voice on morning prime time FM radio.

Joining him is Olive, a soft-spoken intellectual with a background in news, and the attitude of a soldier.

Reckless Radio is a Uganda-based digital radio station created by James ‘Fatboy’ Onen that aims to serve the needs of a growing class of media consumers who are looking for high quality radio content.

Congratulations FatBoy!

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Celebrity Gossip

Zahara Totto opens up on why her relationship with ‘Big Papa’ failed

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By BigEyeUg Team

Next Media, Zahara Totto is still mending a broken heart after breaking-up with Nigerian money bag, Don Solomon Ugwu aka Big Papa (Oga).

The ‘Uncut’ TV show host’s one-year affair with Don Solomon was confirmed done and dusted on Monday, 10th August after a bitter fight between the two lovers.

However, Zahara has since taken it to her Snap chat account spilling all the unbearable circumstances that sparked their misunderstandings.

The motor-mouthed TV presenter, narrates that all went wrong in her relationship when she found-out that boyfriend, Big Papa was sleeping around with other women.

She reveals that her efforts in resolving the issues together with hubby all ended in vain after he refuted all claims of cheating.

He instead continued sharing their bed with all kinds of city girls.

The mother-of-four also says Big Papa is disrespectful, non-developmental, adds no value to no one, among others, and that’s why she never regrets breaking-up with him.

Zahara further says she can’t take his behaviors anymore or stand him because he is disgusting.

Here is her statement in full;

Allow me tell you a short story. I have been busy working the anus decided to sleep with every slut who cares to open their legs to him thinking they will get rich from him! Such low thinking brains!

Am a one-man woman, and when I found out that’s the case I tried to talk to him so we solve things where it had gone wrong as I didn’t want the relationship to end! But the anus used that to his advantage to continue with his Ashawo behavior of sleeping with more sluts.

I was in Love cos we have been together for a year now! Didn’t want it to lose /

my man! But all in vain. The anus is disrespectful, non-developmental, adds no value to no one, etc.

He is threatening me right now for exposing is bleached jik pussy selling bitch who has worked so had to see that me and the anus separate. I can nolonger take it in anymore! I can’t stand him anymore! He disgusts me.

We will keep you posted.

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Audios

Audio: Crysto Panda drops new banger ‘Bino’

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By BigEyeUg Team

Multitalented personality, Kityamuwesi Herbert famously known as Crysto Panda is not stopping anytime soon when it comes to his music career. Although many had said that he landed a hit by chance, the Dance Party TV star has proved them wrong with another song.

Before we could digest his massive banger, ‘Kyoyina Omanya’ Panda has already added a new song ‘Bino’ to our menu.

‘Bino’ is roots from ‘Bino ebiluma abayaye’, one of the trending Luganda slangs to mean ‘what hurts people’.

In ‘Bino’, Crysto maintains his renown dancehall fusion style.

The song consists of pleasantly dazzling drums produced by Artin Pro (Axtra Nation studios).

This website has also learned from the artiste’s close friends that a high-budget video is underway within this month.

Listen to Bino by Crysto Panda here;

We will keep you posted.

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